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Persistant sleepiness in baby

Last post 12-11-2009 7:05 AM by ZoeysMom. 6 replies.
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  • 11-29-2009 6:11 PM

    Persistant sleepiness in baby

    Here's the situation:

    Baby is almost 1 month old, very sleepy baby since birth. Had jaundice. This is the lady's 2nd baby, and she also had troubles b-f her first, weaned him at 6 weeks. This baby will only breastfeed for 5 minutes max at a time and then fall asleep. He wakes to feed 45 minutes later. Mom is giving formula to top him off, but he is beginning to prefer the bottle. Mom has no pain in breasts or nipples, but is dead tired from getting up every hour to wake the baby, change the baby and feed the baby! She feels a strong let-down, and when she compresses the breast to keep baby interested, and he often chokes on the flowing milk! Obviously something has to change or they're heading for early weaning with him.

    What would you advise your clients with this problem?

    Thank you very much in advance for any ideas :) 

  • 11-29-2009 8:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Persistant sleepiness in baby

    I'm assuming mother is not on any medications. ??

    Has she tried:

    • nursing lying down?
    • nursing him in a more upright position?
    • keeping him to one breast at a feeding ... or
    • switching breasts when he falls asleep after 5 min and then switching back to the first breast if he falls asleep at the 2nd breast?
    • moving her hand position slightly each time she compresses the breast?
    • stripping him down or nursing him in a cooler room?
    • keeping her breast off his chin?

    Have you seen this kid's latch?


    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 11-30-2009 11:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Persistant sleepiness in baby


    Why is mom waking the baby every hour?

    Maybe baby is fatigued and once he gets 4-5 hours uninterupted sleep he might just wake up with an appetite.


  • 11-30-2009 12:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Persistant sleepiness in baby


    The baby wakes himself and cries until she nurses him again, but he falls back asleep after 5 min at the breast. So she tries to undress him, wipe with a cold cloth, change him, etc to try to get him to keep on nursing. The longest he has ever slept was a 3 hour stretch, during the day, and after a bottle of formula.

    Brln, sorry I haven't seen her latch, she's a friend from church and the baby was sleeping while we were there. She just told me about her problem. She had a health nurse look at her latch and they said it was fine, but the nurse may not know what she's talking about. Her baby was losing "a lot" of weight (according to the health nurse), so that's why she started supplementing. She nursed lying down for the first many days because she had hemorrhoids, and at first she slept a lot with the baby, but now she tries to make him sleep in his cradle, and of course he wakes up fussy again whenever she puts him down. She now mostly nurses sitting up I think. So each feeding has become an ordeal. She mentioned that during the day, there are other things to do (her other young son), so she is not able to keep up with the baby's demands. I'm thinking that right now there's nothing more important than establishing feeding with this baby! Everyone should make way for this nursing couple to make it work!

    My feeling is that she should get her latch checked by a L.C., and then just spend a lot of time nursing in bed with baby, skin to skin for a couple of days.

  • 11-30-2009 3:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Persistant sleepiness in baby

    It doesn't sound like she's getting much support, does it?  I also wonder if what she is describing is actually what's happening. It's not that I don't believe a mother, but I wonder if she's having other issues and using nursing as an excuse.  Do you think that could be it?

    Could she wear the baby during the day? That would cut down on the amount of time she's "losing" for her other child.  I also wonder if baby is feeling the tenseness and anxiety from mother and he's being "clingy" for that reason.  Little babies need to be on big humans!

    Does she have a local LLL?


    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 12-01-2009 7:44 AM In reply to

    Re: Persistant sleepiness in baby

     I ditto baby wearing.

    Who says 1 month old babies need to be put down. Granted you did need support so you can shower and prep things on the stove top but otherwise wearing baby could improve sleep and help with tension reduction and bonding.

    Mama may also want to check her diet. Eliminating stimulants such as caffeine and uping her natural carbs, water and good fat intake so that her milk will be rich and filling.

  • 12-11-2009 7:05 AM In reply to

    • ZoeysMom
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Lincoln, NE
    • Posts 63

    Re: Persistant sleepiness in baby

    I would suggest hand compression BEFORE putting baby to breast to get the milk flowing first.  Then I would strongly suggest she see an LC.  Sounds to me like there could be more going on.  By 1 month old if baby is still that sleepy it could be so many things it's hard to counsel via the internet.

    How's Mom doing lately?  How sweet of you to be there for this mom!

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